Sober Living For the Revolution: Hardcore Punk, Straight Edge, and Radical Politics
Editor: Gabriel Kuhn
Straight edge has persisted as a drug-free, hardcore punk subculture for 25 years. Its political legacy remains ambiguous and it is often associated with self-righteous macho posturing and conservative Puritanism. While certain elements of straight edge culture feed into such perception, the cultureʼs political history is far more complex.
Since straight edgeʼs origins in Washington, D.C. in the early 1980s, it has been linked to radical thought and action by countless individuals, bands, and entire scenes. Sober Living for the Revolution traces this history.
It includes contributions by famed straight edge punk rockers like Ian MacKaye (of Minor Threat/Fugazi), Dennis Lyxzén (Refused/The (International) Noise Conspiracy), Mark Andersen (Dance of Days) and Andy Hurley (Fall Out Boy); legendary bands like ManLiftingBanner and Point of No Return; radical collectives like CrimethInc. and Alpine Anarchist Productions; and numerous other artists and activists dedicated as much to sober living as to the fight for a better world.
"Perhaps the greatest reason I am still committed to sXe is an unfailing belief that sXe is more than music, that it can be a force of change. I believe in the power of sXe as a bridge to social change, as an opportunity to create a more just and sustainable world."
--Ross Haenfler, Professor of Sociology at the University of Mississippi, author of Straight Edge: Clean-Living Youth, Hardcore Punk, And Social Change
"An "ecstatic sobriety" which combats the dreariness of one and the bleariness of the other – false pleasure and false discretion alike – is analogous to the anarchism that confronts both the false freedom offered by capitalism and the false community offered by communism."
--CrimethInc. Ex-Workers' Collective